Course:5: Access and Outreach
Lesson:Lesson 2: Getting the Word Out
Topic:Designing Your Outreach Activities

Designing Your Outreach Activities

As you consider an outreach program, ask yourself these questions:

Does the activity support and enhance the mission of your program?

Small programs with very limited time and resources have to fit outreach into all the other aspects of archival work. Thus, making sure that activities support the programís fundamental mission is vital Ė you donít have time to work on activities that are peripheral to your main activities.

What are the needs of your users and how can you best meet them?

What collections are used the most? Creating a brochure explaining the organization and background of those collections could be very helpful. It would help your users access popular materials, and will cut back on the reference work you have to do with those users. If you are in a rural area you might consider newspaper columns or articles, or interviews on local radio stations, in order to get people aware of and interested in your program.

What resources do you have for outreach?

Outreach activities can be time consuming, and some (although certainly not all) can be expensive.

What resources can you call on?

  • Are there people or organizations that would be willing to donate time and expertise in designing and printing brochures?
  • Are there organizations that could donate supplies?
  • Are there local foundations that could provide funding?

 Be creative and donít try to do it all yourself.


Make sure your outreach activities mesh with your mission.

Help your users by explaining who you are and what you do.

Helping hand
Are there others who might help you and your organization?